The small, one or two-room schools of British Columbia were officially classified as "rural" and "assisted" schools from 1901 until 1932.

Rural Schools were schools which enrolled at least twenty (20) pupils between the ages of six and sixteen. In rural school districts, the province paid for the entire costs of operating the school, including the cost of erecting, furnishing and maintaining the school building and the cost of the teacher's salary.

Assisted Schools were smaller and not as well endowed. To qualify as an assisted school, a school had to enrol a minimum of seven (7) and a maximum of nineteen (19) school age children. (After 1905, the minimum enrollment was increased to ten (10) children between the ages of six and sixteen years.) Although the provincial government paid the cost of the teacher's salary in an assisted school, local residents were responsible for the cost of the school building and for operating expenses (such as repairs, fuel, and school equipment.)

The status of these small country schools changed frequently. An assisted school could be "raised" to rural status if the number of pupils in the district increased. Conversely, a rural school district might be "reduced" to the assisted category if enrolments declined. And if enrolments fell below the minimum number, the school would be forced to close.

Years later, when more children moved into the district, the school might reopen. Sometimes the school reopened under a different name. It is often very difficult, therefore, to trace the lineage and document the history of the small rural and asssisted schools.

For the sake of convenience, rural and assisted schools are listed together here. The lists - an alphabetical list and a chronological list - are as complete and as comprehensive as possible. They have been compiled from the Annual Reports of the Public Schools , from official notices published in the British Columbia Gazette, and from archival records created by the Department of Education.

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